112 number gets 10,000 blank calls a day, thanks to phone’s power button
New Delhi: Almost a week after the launch of Delhi Police’s 112 emergency number, it’s flooded with blank calls — 10,000 per day on average. The cops have, however, managed to zero in on the prime triggers — accidentally pressing the power button of a mobile phone thrice and curiosity to check the status of the helpline.
The helpline, which was launched on September 25 as a one-stop number for all emergency services, is daily receiving 15,672 calls on average. Of this, only 5,383 calls are genuine. A few are also received for various queries.
As soon as the power button gets pressed thrice, an SOS call is made to 112, said a senior officer. “Though the calls are unintentional, they get registered with the police control room. But most smartphones ask users to press 8 to continue. In case of unintentional calls, this doesn’t happen and the blank call does not reach any operator. Hence, both time and energy are saved,” he added.
The operators call back if a blank call is received more than once from a number but are usually told that it was made by mistake or their child was playing with the phone.
The earlier emergency number, 100, received 40,00050,000 calls per day. An officer said people were getting to know about 112 and the operations unit of Delhi Police was planning to put up advertisements to make people aware about its services.
The new number has made the operators’ job easier. In case of 100, they had to answer all calls. Plus, there is now a tablet inside every PCR van and a similar setup at the police stations. Whenever a call needs to be redirected, the operator jots down the details and with the press of a button, the same message is sent to the closest PCR van and the police station concerned.
“Earlier errors in wireless communications or noting down the details sometimes delayed the help. Now everything is available on a screen,” the officer said. The wireless system is still there to act as a backup in case of any system failure, he added.
The helpline is a new one-stop number for all emergency services